Illuminated Retractor

illuminated_retractorThe Illuminated Retractor is an innovative product that is set to transform surgical theatres. 

Illumination of surgical cavities can be problematic; it is often provided by the use of equipment that can cast significant shadow in the surgical cavity such as overhead lamps and headlamps or the inefficient use of theatre staff holding and directing a torch. 

The preferred method is the use of a fiber optic cable attachment that connects to a retraction system.  This is neither ergonomic nor optimal as the light may cause shadows within the cavity and may not reach the deepest part of the incision. In addition, the fibre optic cabling can clutter the operating field, which has safety implications due to the fact that the cable often impedes the free movement of staff around the operating table.  The proposed medical device will eliminate these issues. 

Summary of technology

The Illuminated Retractor combines a conventional self retaining retractor with the addition of an in-built cold light source.  The Illuminated Retractor directly illuminates the interior cavity of an incision during surgery while the retractor holds open the incision.  Ultimately this provides two functions in a single device. 

Market Opportunity

It is estimated that two thirds of hospital procedures could benifit benifit from the use of an illuminated retractor and it is believed the annual market size world wide is in excess thrity milllion devices.

Summary of Technology

  • The Retractor is made from biocompatible plastic and uses LED technology to illuminate the surgical cavity.
  • The Illuminated Retractor is a disposable, single-use patient device which reduces the risk of cross contamination between patients.
  • The light source has a controllable on/off switch with up to 4 hours of illumination.
  • Surgeons are provided with a fixed light source, positioned to illuminate deep into the incision cavity.  The positioning of the light source reduces the level of shadowing.
  • Surgeons are provided with a purpose built product which improves the surgical environment; the Illuminated Retractor eliminates the need for hazardous fiber optic cables and heavy and bulky head gear or retractor systems.
  • Patients receive treatment within an improved surgical environment.
Prototypes of the Retractor have been developed and SHIL are seeking commercial partners to help take the device to market. Opportunities include design for manufacture, commercial manufacture and distribution.

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